It’s been more than a year since I started this long exciting journey, 17 months to be precise, and I’m very happy to announce today that the book is finally available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones (amongst others). With a foreword by Lev Manovich, VisualComplexity: Mapping Patterns of Information is a deep dive into two major disciplines that witnessed a meteoric rise in the last decade: network science and information visualization.
The book is far more than a showcase of VisualComplexity.com. In fact, around one third of the estimated 300 featured images have never been showcased on the website. Due to its broader scope, it does actually seem that the website emerged from the book, other than the other way around. The book yields a comprehensive view on the visual representation of networks, delving into historical precedents (with some beautiful medieval imagery), various contemporary subjects and methods, and a range of future prospects. It looks at the depiction of networks from a practical and functional perspective, as a key driver for understanding the complex connectedness of modern society, but also explores the alluring qualities of the network schema, responsible for a considerable shift in contemporary art and culture. Divided in 7 chapters the book is ultimately a testimony to the enthralling power of networks and visualization.
In July 2009 while still working for Nokia I signed a contract with Princeton Architectural Press, for what would be one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I was immediately concerned with the deadline ahead of me, since I knew how much needed to be done. On Saturday, July 25, when riding the train back home from TEDGlobal in Oxford, UK, and after being inspired by every single person and story in that conference, I quickly decided the only possible way I could accomplish the book was to embrace it full-time. The following Monday I communicated my decision to Nokia and in late-August I left the company.
What followed were months of hard, intense work, countless hours, more than 1200 emails, and many ups and downs. I had an idea it wouldn’t be that easy, but I never expected it to be so hard. I guess it doesn’t help when you’re too meticulous, self-critical and demanding. A lot has changed in my life since then. I got married only a few months after, and more recently started a new job, moved to a different city in a different country. Coincidentally I’m now living a few blocks from Princeton Architectural Press, a publisher I came to care and respect like no other. The last couple of months have also been very rewarding, since you finally see all loose pieces of the book come together into a coherent whole with a unique personality.
There’s a lot more to say, and I promise I will keep posting more updates, interesting facts, page samples, final cover design, and related events in the coming months. But in the meantime, if you want to make sure you get the book as soon as it comes out in late summer, you can pre-order it on Amazon. Pre-orders are also a great way to support an author, since it shows advance interest in the book. You can also follow updates on Twitter or Facebook.